We’re all so reliant on our computers nowadays that we want them running at the best possible speed. A quick-running computer can save so much time (which in certain situations really can be money), and also reduce the risk of losing your temper with the computer and smashing it up, which happens more often that we would like to think. But what are the best ways to speed up your computer?
1. Defrag Your Computer Regularly
Installing programs and saving files on your computer automatically saves them to the closest space that’s available on your hard drive. If your hard drive isn’t properly organised, these files can become very fragmented, slowing the computer down. If you use your computer regularly, defrag it once a week (unless you’re using an SSD) to piece the files back together and keep the most frequently used right at the front to be accessed quickly and easily.
2. Delete Unwanted Files
Don’t go crazy deleting every file on your computer that you don’t think you need because you don’t know what it is, as it might be something vital. But if you’ve got folders full of old documents that you know you’ll never need again, delete them. They’re taking up unnecessary space, which will be slowing your computer down.
3. Get Good Anti-Virus Software
You need to protect your computer against viruses or not only could your computer become very slow, but it could become damaged and unusable. Then you could have to spend loads of time and money getting a professional to sort it out, which nobody wants to do. Top-notch anti-virus software is worth investing in, although there are a few equally good free ones, but if you’re enjoying a freebie then really do your homework and make sure it actually works.
4. Upgrade Your Memory
If your computer is slow because it’s full of files and programs, and you can’t or don’t want to delete anything, you could always upgrade your memory to free up some more space. Older machines in particular could benefit from this, because they probably didn’t come with much in the first place.
5. Update Your Programs Regularly
Most of the programs that you use will have regular updates to improve them and keep them running smoothly. You should check for updates on a regular basis and take the updates that are on offer. Updates make your programs run faster which will then make completing any tasks using your computer happen faster.
6. Avoid Multitasking
Having lots of large programs on the go at once will slow your computer down massively. Having a couple of things open at once if you’re using them both is fine, but 20-odd windows open, each with different tabs will really slow down your computer. If you run a virus scan while using large programs, for example, it will take you longer to complete your task, and take the virus scan longer to finish. Wait until it’s complete and then do whatever you need, and use the free time to do something else.
7. Keep It Plugged In
This one only applies to laptops, but your machine will often run slower if it’s working on battery power. This is because it goes into an energy-conservation mode, slowing things down and dimming the screen, among other things. Twiddle with the settings and plug it in if you can, and your laptop will keep moving at a good pace.
8. Keep Your Files Organised
This isn’t so much about how your machine actually runs, but how long it takes you to do things. If your files are well organised, you should be able to find whatever you need in a couple of seconds. If they’re all over the place, however, you’ll waste time searching. Give everything a clear label and organise it wisely, group with other similar and relevant files.
9. Delete Temporary Files
Many hidden temporary files are created without you even realising. Browsing the Internet, opening files, installing programs and many other things you do on your computer all create more files you don’t know about. If you’re not sure where to locate the temporary files on your computer, look it up online, locate them and then delete them to speed up your computer. Deleting your Internet history is often a good first step anyway, especially if you haven’t done it in months (or years).
10. Disable Automatic Update Reminders
Update reminders popping up every time you turn on your computer as it slows down the machine and wastes your time, and you can disable these by going onto the program settings. Or you could just allow the update to run there and then, and it will stop reminding you. Pushing updates back when you’re trying to get something done is fine, but do remember to then go and do the updates manually every so often.